October is one of the most beautiful months of the year to visit New Orleans. The weather is warm and pleasant and fall festival season is in full swing. The Saints are rocking out in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and the Pelicans are just getting back to work in the Smoothie King Center. Second lines are marching through the old neighborhoods every Sunday. Basically, there’s a ton to do. Because of this, of course, you’ll be seeing higher hotel prices, but deals can still be had.
Average High: 80 F / 27 C
Average Low: 59 F / 15 C
Odds are good that the weather will be quite warm during the day, so you can likely get away with short sleeves and shorts/skirts, but you’ll definitely want to have some layers on hand in case it cools off at night or you encounter an overzealously air-conditioned restaurant or store (likely). Good walking shoes are always a must.
October 2015 Event Highlights
Ponderosa Stomp (Oct. 1-3) - Music geeks from around the world flock to this small festival, held at the fabulous Mid-City Lanes Rock ’n’ Bowl. It’s a showcase of undiscovered and underappreciated legends of American music: you’re not likely to recognize many (or any) of the names on the lineup, but everyone who performs is absolutely worth hearing.
Hell Yes Fest (Oct. 1-11) - Stand-up, improv, comedy films, workshops, and more are on the docket at this festival celebrating all things funny. You'll find shows at theaters and clubs around town, featuring both local comics like Chris Trew, the organizer, and national comics like Doug Benson, Todd Barry, and Tim Heidecker.
Art for Arts’ Sake (Oct. 3) - New Orleans’ largest art-walk sees just about every gallery and museum in the city coming together for a night of art, wine, and company. With hubs on Julia Street, Magazine Street, and at the Contemporary Arts Center in the Warehouse District, there are tons to see.
Gentilly Fest (Oct. 9-11) - Celebrating the culture and rebirth of the Gentilly neighborhood, this free festival brings music, dance, food, arts, and kids' programming to Pontchartrain Park. 2015 headliners include James Andrews and the Rebirth Brass Band.
Oktoberfest (Oct. 9-10, 16-17, 23-24) - The Deutsches Haus, a German heritage group that has existed in New Orleans for nearly a century, holds this annual celebration of German food, language, culture and, of course, beer. It's all held in the courtyard at the Deutsches Haus in Mid-City, which is transformed into a festive Biergarten.
Carnaval Latino (Oct. 10-11) - Parades, Latin food, and mucho music from around Latin America connect contemporary New Orleans to its history as a long-time Spanish colony. Events are held in the French Quarter and Central Business District.
New Orleans Film Festival (Oct. 15-22) - Screening independent and feature films from around the world, this regional film festival has a reputation for excellence and draws a number of celebrities each year. Louisiana-shot and Louisiana-themed films are particularly well-represented. Tickets to film screenings are available to the public.
Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival (Oct. 16-18) - Brought to you by the same crew that presents JazzFest, this festival in Lafayette Square celebrates “the soul of the south” with — you guessed it — blues and BBQ.
Krewe of Boo Halloween Parade (Oct. 24) - New Orleans loves to throw a parade, and frankly, we do them better than anyone else. This Halloween edition, which rolls through the French Quarter, isn’t so different from what you might see at Mardi Gras, but it’s a fair bit spookier. There’s an enormous after-party to which tickets are available, as well.
Words & Music: A Literary Feast (Oct. 29-Nov. 2) - The Faulkner House bookstore in Pirate’s Alley hosts this small but mighty festival and conference which showcases the works of new authors through readings and signings and offers concerts and workshops as well.
Voodoo Music Experience (Oct. 30-Nov. 1) - The consistently diverse but crowd-pleasing lineup at Voodoo makes it one of the most popular music festivals in the Gulf South. The 2015 roster includes Florence & the Machine, Ozzy Osbourne, Jason Isbell,, and Deadmau5.